The number of statutory holidays will be increased to 17 as the third reading of Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed by the Legislative Council on Wednesday.
There are currently 12 statutory holidays. Five more will be introduced in five installments starting from next year to 2030.
The five new holidays are the Birthday of the Buddha, the first weekday after Christmas Day, the day following Easter Monday, Good Friday and the day following Good Friday.
Law Chi-kwong, secretary for labour and welfare, described the policy as a breakthrough in labour welfare, as the government tackled the unfair situation that the numbers of statutory holidays and public holidays are different.
Wong Kwok-kin from Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions slammed the progress to be too slow as it takes almost 10 years for the government to add five more holidays. He proposed an amendment to speed up the progress, yet it was banned by Law.
Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong welcomed the bill.
She agreed on increasing the number of statutory holidays, yet the arrangement should be executed as it becomes affordable to the business sector, she added.